IRS creates tax-free college funds
Can you kindly let us know whom we may contact to set up a college fund for one of our grandchildren under HI529, which recently was enacted?
Answer: Call (866) 529-3343 toll-free or visit www.hi529.com.
To help families finance college tuition, the Internal Revenue Service established the 529 college savings program.
The name comes from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows people to withdraw money from accounts to pay for qualified tuition expenses without having to pay federal or state income taxes.
The state's HI529 program was formerly called Tuition- EDGE.
The state has selected Vanguard Group Inc. to be the investment manager for its 529 program. Upromise Investments Inc. is the plan's program manager.
Participants can choose from a variety of investment options. All options are subject to a 0.75 percent management fee and a $20 annual account fee. The minimum investment is $15.
Q: Why is it that certain McDonald's restaurants downtown and other facilities do not have public restrooms, while others do? Who sets up guidelines for this, and are the requirements governed by city/state laws?
A: This question pops up every few years.
If a "food establishment" does have restrooms, it's not necessarily because having them is required by law.
The state Department of Health sets the requirements for restrooms for food service establishments, such as restaurants and markets, and places of public gathering, such as theaters, schools, dormitories, auditoriums and churches (see "Kokua Line," May 18, 2005).
Food establishments are not required to provide a public restroom; they are required only to provide restrooms for their staff.
However, if it serves liquor, then that establishment must provide toilet facilities for male and female patrons based on the number of people it can accommodate.
For details, go the Department of Health Web site at www.hawaii.gov/health. Click on "About DOH," then "Rules and Regulations." "Minimum sanitary facilities" is found under Title 11, Chapter 11, Section 9.
Q: I own an apartment and rent it to a tenant. A rental agent has been managing it for several years. The rental agent sends me monthly statement disclosing the rent collected, along with fees and expenses. The agent also is responsible to file excise taxes for me. However, I have never received any copies of the excise tax which they said they'd filed and sent to me. Is there a way to verify that my excise tax has been filed?
A: Yes. Contact the state Department of Taxation's Taxpayer Services Branch. Call 587-4242 or toll-free (800) 222-3229.
Or you can write your request, with an explanation, to the Taxpayer Services Branch, and send it to Department of Taxation, Taxpayer Services Branch, P.O. Box 259, Honolulu, HI 96809-0259.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
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